By Edgar Mason

Enhanced Ecommerce has recently been unleashed to the world, sending us data nerds into a frenzy of excitement. This series of blog posts will take a deeper look into the new Enhanced Ecommerce reports.

Back to blog home

Enhanced Ecommerce has been released by Google as a complete revamp of the traditional Ecommerce reports people will tend to be more familiar with. The new revamp has more of a focus towards the pre-purchase shopping behaviour of users and the performance of actual products. Whilst the traditional Ecommerce report helped us analyse the performance of products by quantity sold and revenue made, it didn't show us the whole picture.

So what's new?

Well, actually quite a lot. There are two new sections to the Ecommerce report that didn't exist before. These are Shopping Analysis and Marketing, which open up to reveal six new reports in total. The new reports sit alongside the Overview, Product Performance and Sales Performance reports that users will be familiar with from the traditional Ecommerce report, as well as a new report called Product List Performance that I'll cover in some more detail later.

Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics

Let's take a deeper look at the reports

Let's break these reports down a little further by splitting them into three different categories: Economic performance, Purchasing behaviour and Merchandising success.

1. Economic performance

These are the reports that sit directly below the Ecommerce tab and not under either the Shopping Analysis or Marketing sections. As mentioned before, anyone who's used the traditional Ecommerce reports will recognise three of the four reports we're talking about now. The Overview report, as before, acts as a quick view of total performance during the selected time period. It's slightly different now as it also encompasses some elements from the two new sections of the Enhanced Ecommerce report.

  • The Product Performance report has remained almost unchanged from the traditional report and shows the performance of individual products (number of purchases, product revenue, etc.). The only slight change you'll notice here is the metrics that accompany the report, in that there are a few new ones that encompass some of the new shopping behaviour information.
  • Sales Performance has changed from the traditional format and now lets you choose between two primary dimensions. You can now select between Transaction ID which you'll recognise from the Transactions report of old and also Date which was the original dimension in the traditional Sales Performance report. Essentially Google have combined two useful reports into one; no loss of information here, just a tidier look.
  • The Product Lists Performance report is the first "new" report we've touched on and allows you to analyse the performance of each of your Product lists, which are essentially defined by you and are based on the logical grouping of your products on your site. If we use a clothing retailer as an example, if a user searches for "jeans" and is presented a search results page that lists ten different images of products that are related to that search, that's a product list. You can use the Product Lists dimension to represent what you want (you need to specify these based on tagging which we'll cover later), but in general they'd be for catalogue pages, related-product blocks, search-results pages or anywhere where various products are shown. I've added an example screen shot from one of our clients, Oasis, as an example:
Product listing

2. Purchasing behaviour

Probably my favourite part of Enhanced Ecommerce and definitely something here at Periscopix we're having fun playing around with. These reports sit under the new Shopping Analysis section in Enhanced Ecommerce. I'll just be giving a brief overview of these reports here but will be following up with some more blogs that will touch on these reports and how we recommend using them.

  • The Shopping Behaviour report displays your purchase funnel, starting at product views and ended with a transaction being made. The funnel is a great way to visualise the number of sessions at each stage of the purchase funnel, how many sessions progressed between the various steps and also the abandonment rate between stages. It's easy to therefore identify at what stage users are dropping out of the purchase funnel so you can review and improve potential weaknesses.

It's worth noting that you can apply any segments to the report to see how that segment behaves through the purchase funnel. Also (and probably the part I like most) you can use the visualisation to create segments based upon the step in the funnel, e.g. the number of sessions that abandoned the funnel at the checkout stage, by just clicking on the funnel step or abandonment arrow.

Purchase funnel report
  • The Checkout Behaviour report is similar to the funnel above but this time focuses exclusively on the checkout process. Again we're shown the number of sessions that progress through each stage and the abandonment rate of each stage. Much like the Shopping Behaviour report above, the steps here are extremely flexible and in fact can be defined by the tagging you've implemented on your site. You're able to apply segments to the report which is extremely useful and you're also able to create segments based on user behaviour, again by clicking on the funnel steps of abandonment arrows.

Quick note: Creating segments from the Purchase behaviour and Checkout behaviour funnels is really easy and once you've created a segment of say, people who dropped out at a certain point in your funnel. It's then really easy to use those segments in your GA remarketing lists, so you can target people who you know got a certain way down your conversion funnel but actually didn't convert (engaged users).

3. Merchandising success

This section focuses more on the internal and external marketing activity that supports the sale of your products. The reports in this section are completely new and add a great deal of value to Enhanced Ecommerce.

  • The Internal Promotion report basically does what it says on the tin, it shows you the performance of activity you're doing on your site to promote another section of the site. For instance a banner on your homepage directing people to Sale content is an internal promotion. You can see how these internal promotions perform by 'Internal Promotion Views', 'Internal Promotion Clicks' and 'Internal Promotion CTR'. All of which will help inform you as to which internal promotions are doing well and which aren't doing so well, allowing you to change site content where necessary.
  • In Order Coupon you're able to see the performance of order level coupons (discount vouchers), which may be for instance a "20% off total order value" style deal. Ideal for large ecommerce sites that have multiple coupons available to use simultaneously, as you can review performance extremely easily.
  • Very similar to the report above, the Product Coupon report looks at the performance of different coupons but at a product level rather than the order level.
  • Finally the Affiliate Code report allows you to see how your affiliates have contributed to the ecommerce performance of your account. Again, for larger sites which are working with a wide range of affiliates, this is a very easy way to see performance in one report.

What else is new?

You can add even more information into Google Analytics, more specifically product related data that you may maintain outside of Google Analytics (e.g. product size). These will need to be created as Custom Dimensions that can then be applied directly as secondary dimensions to the reports mentioned in this blog. To do this follow the steps we've covered here but use the Product Data import.

Another cool feature of Enhanced Ecommerce is the ability to upload Refund Data into your Google Analytics account. Again this is a manual data import process which requires a CSV file with data, then needs to be uploaded using a similar process to that described above (instead using the Refund Data import type). This information will then be available in the Sales Performance report.

Enabling Enhanced Ecommerce

Hopefully by this point you're as excited about Enhanced Ecommerce as I am and eager to dive right in. Unfortunately it's not quite as easy as that. There are a few steps that need to be done before you can gain access to this treasure chest of data.

  1. You need to be using Universal Analytics.
  2. You need to turn on Enhanced Ecommerce for the view you want to use it in. This is very easy, just head to the Admin section and then in the View you're interested in click on E-commerce settings. Under 'Step 1, Enable Ecommerce' set the status to ON. Then under 'Step 2, Enhanced Ecommerce Settings' set the status to ON. Sorted.
  3. You need to tag your website with the Enhanced Ecommerce tracking code. I hear an audible sigh escape your lips, yes unfortunately Enhanced Ecommerce requires a fair amount of tagging implementation to get it working. A lot of what we've covered in the reports above will need to be tracked using the 'ec.js' plugin which I'll be covering in more detail in my follow up blogs. So stay tuned for that!

Keep an eye out for my next blog in this Enhanced Ecommerce series where we'll take a deeper look at the reports and go into more detail about the tagging that needs to be implemented.

Share this article